Southern African Submitted Surnames

Southern African names include those from Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. See also about African names.
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Submitted names are contributed by users of this website. The accuracy of these name definitions cannot be guaranteed.
Anotidaishe means "the Lord loves us".
ASANTE     Shona
Meaning unknown.
BEKKER     Afrikaans
bekker is a regional form of Dutch bakker which means Baker
BUYS     Afrikaans (Modern)
South Africa, Pretoria
Chamapiwa means "that which you have been given". It is a call to appreciate that which you have from God
CHENAI     Shona
Chenai means "Be clean, be hygienic or come out clean"
CHIKOMBORERO means "a blessing".
CHIROTO     Shona
Meaning unknown.
CHIWESHE     Shona
Meaning unknown.
CILLIËRS     Afrikaans
Brought to South Africa by settlers of French decent some time in the past 300 years. Sometimes also a given name for boys.
DAMBUDZO     Shona
Dambudzo means "that which causes suffering or trouble". #The Zimbabwean writer, Dambudzo Marechera is a famous bearer of this name".
Meaning unknown.
DE BEER     Afrikaans
De Beer is a Dutch and Afrikaans surname, meaning "the bear"
DE BRUYN     Afrikaans
"Bruyn" is an archaic spelling of "bruin", meaning "brown"
DE KOCK     Afrikaans
Means "The Cook"
DUBE     Ndebele, Zulu
It means Zebra. It is usually a surname instead of a person's name used by Zimbabwean Ndebele people and South African Zulu people.... [more]
DUDZAI     Shona
Dudzai means "Speak it out, confess it".
DU PLESSIS     Afrikaans, French Creole, French (Cajun), French (Huguenot)
French topographic name for someone who lived by a quickset fence, Old French pleis (from Latin plexum past participle of plectere ‘plait’, ‘weave’), with fused preposition and definite article du ‘from the’... [more]
ENGELBRECHT     Afrikaans
The name Engelbrecht has multiple translations, including "Angle Glorious" and "Bright Angel".
FARAI     Shona
Farai means "Rejoice, be happy".
FOURIE     Afrikaans
Originates from French Huguenot settlers
GWINYAI     Shona
Gwinyai means "be strong".
HATENDI     Shona
Meaning unknown.
Isheanesu means "The Lord is with us".
KHUMALO     Zulu, Ndebele, South African
Zulu and Ndebele clan name meaning "descendant of the fish tribe".
KYAGUMBO     Shona
Meaning unknown.
LOUW     Afrikaans
Louw is a surname that has pre 7th century Germanic origins. It is a Dutch/Flemish variant on the word Lowe, meaning Lion.
MAHARAJ     South African, Indian, Trinidadian Creole, Fijian
Means "great king, great ruler", from Sanskrit महा (mahā) meaning "great, large, big" combined with राज (rāja) meaning "king, sovereign". It is also found among Indian communities abroad.
MAJANGE     Shona
Meaning unknown.
MATHEMA     Shona
Meaning unknown.
MAWERE     Shona
Meaning unknown.
MBANGWA     Shona
Meaning unknown.
Meaning unknown.
From Zulu meaning "big man".
MOYO     Shona
Meaning unknown.
MUDZURI     Shona
Meaning unknown.
MUFARO     Shona
Mufaro means "Joy, happiness". It is a name of rejoicing
MUSHOHWE     Shona
Meaning unknown.
MUZOREWA     Shona
Meaning unknown.
Meaning unknown.
NAIDOO     South African, Southern African
In 2014, this was the most common surname in South Africa.
Meaning unknown.
ONAI     Shona
Onai means "See, observe". #It is a name that calls the hearer to see or observe that which happened".
ONGAI     Shona
It is a form of the Shona name Vongai.
OOSTHUIZEN     South African
Came from a village in the Dutch province of North Holland.
RAJKOOMAR     Mauritian Creole, South African
Variant of Rajkumar used by Mauritian and South African Indians.
RAMPERSAD     Trinidadian Creole, South African, Mauritian Creole
Trinidadian surname of Indian Hindu origin; from Sanskrit राम (rāma) meaning "pleasing, pleasant, charming" combined with प्रसाद (prasāda) meaning "clearness, brightness, purity".
Rangarirai means "Remember, think over, consider".
RUFARO     Shona
It is a form of the Shona name Mufaro.
SINCADU     South African (Rare)
Mzimkhulu, Bhaca
SNYMAN     Afrikaans
Afrikaans version of the German surname Schneider, which is German for tailor.
TAFARA     Shona
Tafara means "We are happy or we rejoice". It is a name of rejoicing
TAWANDA     Shona
Tawanda means "We have increased or multiplied". #It is a name acknowledging the birth of a child as an increase to the family".
THERON     South African, Occitan
South African surname of Occitan origin derived from any of the various locations named Théron or Thérond. The name itself is ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *tur- or Latin torus/thorus meaning "height, elevation"... [more]
Tinetariro means "We have hope". Usually given to declare that we have our hope in God.
TONDERAI     Shona
Tonderai means "Remember". This name is given as a call to remember a particular event or to remember one's origins.
VAN DEN BERG     Dutch, Afrikaans, Flemish
Meaning "from the mountain".
VAN DER MERWE     Dutch, South African
While the name is currently very common in South Africa, it originates in Holland, literally meaning "From the Merwe". The first van der Merwes hail from the Merwede river. The name went to South Africa with the Dutch settlers in 1652.
VAN NIEKERK     Afrikaans, Southern African
Topographic name for any of the various locations named Nieuwerkerk in The Netherlands or Nieuwerkerken in Belgium. The name itself means "of the new church" from Dutch van meaning "of" combined with nieuw meaning "new" and kerk meaning "church".
VAN ROOYEN     Afrikaans
van Rooyen related to van Rooijen, is an Afrikaans and Dutch toponymic surname. May be rooted from the Rhine area of the Netherlands, possibly having meant "from Rhine" originally. Now a fairly common surname through out South Africa after being brought to Southern Africa by Dutch settlers over the past 300 years, often with variations on spelling but said in the same or a similar way.
VERWEY     Dutch, Afrikaans, South African
Contracted form of van der Weij meaning "from the meadow".
VIMBAI     Shona
Vimbai means "Have hope, trust". It is a call to have hope or to trust in
VONAI     Shona
It is a form of the Shona name Onai.
VONGAI     Shona
Vongai means "be thankful, or appreciative".
WADZANAI     Shona
Wadzanai means "Have fellowship, visit each other, be on good terms". The name may be given as a call to family to come together in fellowship, visiting and being on good terms
WEPENER     South African, German
South African, German decent/history
WONAI     Shona
It is a form of the Shona name Onai.
WONGAI     Shona
It is a form of the Shona name Vongai
YEUKAI     Shona
Yeukai means "Remember". This name is given as a call to remember a particular event or to remember one's origins.
YOST     American, Dutch, Afrikaans
Americanized spelling of Dutch surname Joost or German surname Jost
ZADZISAI     Shona
Zadzisai means "you must fulfil - a pledge or promise". The name is given as a reminder to fulfil a pledge or promise.
ZANAMWE     Southern African
Zimbabwean Surname, originally from the Chivi area, shona speaking people of the Shumba(lion) totem originate from the Masvingo province, Mwenezi, Chitanga,Chikombedzi, Boli Chibwedziva. Some migrated to the Mashonaland East province Mhondoro area and assumed the Moyo(heart) totem
ZIVAI     Shona
Zivai means "you must know".
ZIVANAI     Shona
Zivanai means "You must know each other". #This name is a call to family and relatives to get to know each other by visiting and fellowship - usually so that they do not drift apart"
ZORORO     Shona
Zororo means "rest". #It may be given to mean that the parent has rested after the birth of this child". Zimbabwean politician Zororo Duri was a well known bearer of this name.
ZUVA     Shona
Zuva means "sun or day".
ZVAITIKA     Shona
Zvaitika means "It has happened". This name may be given as a celebration that something that was desired or awaited has finally happened.
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